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Saturday, September 3, 2016

With near-total Police breakdown, Kashmir turns into ‘liberated valley’

120 clashes, 62 Azadi processions on 56th day of continued shutdown

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Sep 2: With the situation turning from bad to worse with every passing day and the State Police passing through a near-total system breakdown for the first time in the last 20 years, as many 62 Azadi processions and 120 clashes were reported in the turbulent Kashmir valley on the 56th consecutive day of shutdown on Friday.

Officially the curfew remained in force in Srinagar and the district headquarters of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Baramulla. However, reports from different areas indicated that curfew was violated by separatist demonstrators and stone pelters wherever it had been imposed. On the other hand, complete shutdown was observed in entire Kashmir valley including the border valley of Gurez which has not been a partner in the separatist movement in the last 27 years.

In the last several weeks, post the Kokernag encounter in which Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani died on July 8, the separatist movement has crossed Jawahar Tunnel and Mughal Road and begun to engulf the Muslim-dominated areas of the Poonch-Rajouri border belt and entire Chenab Valley in Jammu province.

The Government’s control in the last two months of the turmoil has shrunk to only the most fortified parts of the summer capital and nine other district headquarters as the movement of Police, security forces and law and order machinery on all the key arteries has been frozen. Srinagar-Jammu national highway has been partially brought back into the Government control though stone pelting and demonstrations have become a daily feature and the oil tanker services have been badly disrupted.

Police and security forces have surrendered all the inter-district arteries to the separatists and notwithstanding a government decision, no movement of military or paramilitary forces has been witnessed on these roads in the last two months. Most of the Police officials, including officers of the rank of SSP, have made fake civil identity cards and all of them are using private vehicles to hide themselves from the shutdown vigilantes and stone pelters.

According to insiders, hundreds of Police officials have been beaten up on roads and their vehicles have been damaged for violating Hurriyat’s shutdown call. A number of Police Stations and Police Posts have been closed down after dozens of attacks on the Police installations. Police have not visited any spot of crime including murder, attacks on civilians or Government officials, torching of properties and burglary in the last two months.

While as a section of the Police force has been guarding the Police Stations, DC’s and SSP’s offices and residences, District Police Lines and Training Schools, rest of the constabulary has been deployed to deal with the ‘law and order’ situation. In several areas, families of Police officials have been forced to migrate or tender public apologies at mosques for their “atrocities” against the people.

Today’s reports from Baramulla said that 62 workers of PDP, NC and Congress besides three Sarpanches announced their resignations and pledged to struggle for Azadi at a massive rally at Nadihal village where a youth had got killed and six others injured in Army’s firing earlier this week. Such reports have been pouring in daily from different districts. Reports say that a large number of SPOs have also dissociated themselves from Police.

Official sources told STATE TIMES that as many as 62 Azadi processions came out at different places on Friday. The participants invariably waved large Pakistani national flags and shouted pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans. These sources said that unruly separatist crowds clashed with Police and paramilitary forces at as many as 120 places, mostly in Srinagar, Budgam, Baramulla, Bandipora, Shopian, Pulwama and Anantnag districts.

Sources said that over a hundred Police and CRPF personnel sustained injuries and fractures in these clashes while as an equal number of the protesters was believed to be injured. Till late on Friday night, 48 of the injured had reported for treatment at different hospitals in the summer capital. In most of the disturbed neighbourhoods, people living on either side of the roads complained that their houses were damaged with stones and shelling during the clashes. Residents complained that they were subjected to inhalation of the highly obnoxious pepper gas and tear smoke. Children, women and others suffering from respiratory complications were the worst affected.

In Karan Nagar, Srinagar, Police forcibly entered a residential house and laid ambush for the stone pelters. Five of the stone pelters were trapped and arrested. Immediately after the Police withdrew, a group of stone pelters barged into the house and began setting the house on fire. Seeking mercy, the women inmates wept bitterly and beseeched the youths not to burn down their house. Still the stone pelters set on fire one motorcycle at the premises.

LeT hails stone-pelters

Terming the stone throwers as “front-runners” of the Kashmir’s freedom movement, militant outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) in a statement today hailed their “spirit and courage” saying they were fighting the bullets and other weapons with just stones.

The LeT spokesman Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi, while quoting the Jihadist group’s chief Mehmood Shah, said Kashmiri youths by sacrificing their lives wanted to send a clear message to the world that “they would never accept Indian slavery”.

Body of a teenager, Danish Sultan Haroo of Palpora, was fished out from river Jhelum today, raising the death toll to 72 in the last eight weeks of the turbulence. As already reported, four boys had jumped into the river while being chased allegedly by CRPF in Noorbagh area of Srinagar last evening. Even as three of them swam across to the other bank, Danish drowned to death. Residents, claiming to be eyewitnesses, said that the boy made desperate attempts to come out of the water but the forces around did not let him surface until he died.

Police version

According to Zonal Police Headquarters spokesman, curfew was imposed in Srinagar, towns of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Baramulla today. He said that 35 stone pelting incidents were reported from Srinagar, Sopore, Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kulgam and Kupwara till Friday evening. “At these places, after Friday prayers, miscreants assembled on the roads and pelted stones on police and security force deployments,” he said.

The spokesman said that some unknown persons set ablaze a vocational training Centre at Watirgam in the jurisdiction of Police Station Dangiwacha (Sopore) resulting in complete damage to the structure.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

Friday, September 2, 2016

Governor pulls up top J&K officials for ‘inefficiency’

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Sep 1: Governor Narendra Nath Vohra is understood to have pulled up some top ranking State officials for their failure to restore normalcy and order and for continued suspension of the academic activity in the turbulent Kashmir valley.

Well-placed sources disclosed to STATE TIMES that on Wednesday, Governor called some top officials and asked them why they had failed to restore order and open the educational institutions, particularly the Universities and Colleges in Kashmir. All the educational institutions have remained closed in Valley continuously since July 8 when Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani got killed in an encounter.

On two occasions, State’s Education Minister Naeem Akhtar announced on television that Government had ordered opening of all the educational institutions. In desperation, he once publicly beseeched separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik to lend the Government "support" in keeping the educational institutions open. However, not a single school, college or University could be opened for administrative or academic work in the last two months.

Sources said that Governor asked a senior officer tersely that he should either deliver or quit. Subsequently, one of the Vice Chancellors attempted to rope in a separatist leader so as to convince him for exempting some colleges and universities from the shutdown. However, the separatist leader refused to oblige the VC.

Sources said that Governor was “terribly perturbed” over the Government’s failure to re-establish control on certain important roads, including the inter-district connectivity and Srinagar-Jammu national highway. He is said to have received reports that the separatist youths, carrying lathis and stones, had been stopping the vehicles, checking I-cards and frisking and questioning those travelling in private cars to find if any Government employees or Policemen were attending duties. A large number of the Government employees have been humiliated, harassed and beaten up for violating the separatists' shutdown call. No government agency has come forward with any reassurance to the employees, forcing them to remain absent from duties.

Scores of the private vehicles have been allegedly damaged in stone pelting.

Interestingly, it is for the first time that some newly posted Police officers refused to take possession of the government vehicles. Almost all of them are currently using private vehicles and many of them have made fake I-cards as civilians for fear of the crowd attacks.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

Youth drowns in Jhelum while being chased by CRPF

Valley-wide clashes, demonstrations on 55th day of shutdown; curfew being imposed as separatists plan bigger clashes on Friday

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Sep 1: An eighteen-year-old youth, who was reportedly part of a crowd of the stone pelters, drowned in river Jhelum while being chased by CRPF in downtown Srinagar on 55th day of continued shutdown and violent clashes between protesters and Police across Kashmir valley on Thursday.

Residents of Palpora Noorbagh on downstream Srinagar complained that 18-year-old Danish Ahmad Haroon drowned in Jhelum when CRPF was chasing a group of youths during a clash in their neighbourhood. They told Police that four youths jumped into the river to save their lives. Three of them swam successfully to the opposite side and reached home but Danish drowned. They claimed that he was dead as he remained untraced till late in the night.

Local divers conducted searches in the river downstream but failed to find Danish dead or alive. If he is found dead he will be the 72nd persons, including three Police personnel, killed in the 55-day-long turbulence after militant Burhan Wani’s death in an encounter on July 8.

SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar told STATE TIMES that even as Police had no confirmation to the youth’s drowning or death, it took cognizance of the family members’ complaint and started searching for him. He said that no dead body was spotted in the river till late tonight. SSP said that Police had requisitioned a contingent of Marine Commandos (Marcos) who would carry out a comprehensive search operation if the residents cooperated in the morning on Friday.

Meanwhile, around 70 demonstrations and clashes of unruly crowds with Police and CRPF were reported from all the ten districts of Kashmir valley. Reports said that the separatists enforced shutdown with stone pelting on the vehicles in movement at hundreds of places in the Valley. However, a section of private vehicles operated without major disturbance in Civil Lines areas and Airport area. With no movement of Police or security forces, disorderly groups of youngsters put up barriers, frisked motorists, checked their identity cards and sent them back.

Reports said that a number of vehicles, which were found plying in defiance of the separatists’ shutdown call, were damaged in the stone pelting and many of the drivers were roughed up for violation. Over 95% of the vehicles were off the road like in the last 55 days.

All shops, with the exception of pharmacies, besides private offices and other businesses, educational institutions and banks remained closed. Government offices were found open in many areas but attendance of the employees were extremely thin.

Informed sources said that over 30 clashes took place between the protesters and Police/CRPF in the summer capital where restrictions remained in force in a part of the downtown. Sporadic stone pelting was reported even from the well-managed areas of Hari Singh High Street and Rawatpora Barzullah. Reports said that some peaceful demonstrations were organised by the separatists in South Kashmir.

Most of the protest demonstrations turned violent as Police and CRPF clashed with the crowds shouting pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans and waving dozens of Pakistani national flags. Official figures of the injured were not available till late. However, sources said that 34 persons were admitted to SMHS Hospital and 18 to SKIMS Medical College Bemina. In all around a hundred people are estimated to have sustained injuries in Thursday’s clashes.

Like in the last about eight weeks, most of the organised crowds, peaceful and violent, were reported from the South Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian. Sources said that ahead of the visit of All-party delegation of the Indian Parliamentarians on September 4 and 5, separatists were likely to arrange for more and more demonstrations and clashes on Friday. Authorities are likely to impose curfew in Srinagar and some other major towns in the Valley.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

Thursday, September 1, 2016

PDP MP’s house set on fire, 4 rifles snatched away from guards and burnt

Student killed, 6 injured in Army firing in Rafiabad; death toll reaches 71 on 54th day of turbulence; around 200 injured in 100 clashes across Valley

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Aug 31: On 54th consecutive day of shutdown and turbulence across Kashmir valley on Wednesday, a separatist crowd torched the residential house of PDP’s Rajya Sabha member Nazir Ahmad Laway in Kulgam area of South Kashmir while as an 18-year-old student was killed and 6 protesters injured in Army’s firing in Rafiabad area of Sopore in North Kashmir amid more than a hundred clashes between Police and protesters.

Informed sources said that a crowd of around 100 people barged into a house belonging to Nazir Ahmad Laway at Chawalgam, one Km from Kulgam. They snatched away three Insas rifles and one self-loading rifle (SLR) from the four Policemen guarding the MP’s house and thereafter set it on fire. The guardroom and a part of the house were destroyed in the fire. However, another house on the premises, in which Laway and his family live, was not attacked. The MP’s house is just 200 meters from an Army camp which did not react.

SSP Kulgam Mohammad Irshad told STATE TIMES that 50 to 60 miscreants trooped into the guardroom on the first floor of Laway’s annexe and they relieved the guards of their weapons before setting the house on fire. “Out of the five Police guards, four were present. We have reports that the guards handed over their weapons---three Insas rifles and one SLR---without resistance to the miscreants. We are investigating if it had been already planned with the guards. The miscreants came out with the four rifles but went back and set the guardroom on fire. It gutted alongwith an adjacent meeting room and all the four rifles have reportedly perished in the fire”, SSP Kulgam said.

Mr Irshad said that the guards escaped and later three of them reported at Police Station Kulgam. He said that FIR was registered, the guards taken into custody and an investigation launched. According to him, the MP, who usually stays at his official accommodation close to SSP’s residence at Kulgam, was not present at his Chawalgam house when it was set on fire. Laway, who was not reachable on telephone, was reportedly in Srinagar when the incident occurred at his home. Ironically last week on TV, Laway had empathised with the separatists and strongly advocated New Delhi's outreach to them.

“I was at a stone’s throw from Chawalgam along with Dy SP headquarters and SHO just 15 minutes back. We dispersed a crowd at Tangbal and later arrested three stone pelters between Chansar and Okay. As soon as we reached back Kulgam, we learned that miscreants had torched Mr Laway’s house. We rushed back to Chawalgam where some miscreants were fleeing into the residential area. The fire was put out but it destroyed a portion of Mr Laway’s second house. His main residential house on the same premises has not been attacked”, Mr Irshad said.

Residences, properties and vehicles of some mainstream politicians have been attacked by angry crowds in the 54-day-long turbulence. However, it is for the first time that the guarded house of a senior leader, who happens to be the ruling PDP’s sitting MP, has been attacked and destroyed by the unruly separatist crowds.

Youth killed in Sopore

Earlier on Wednesday, sources said, troops of Rashtriya Rifles 32 Bn opened fire at Ladoora village in Sopore-Rafiabad belt in which seven civilians sustained injuries. One of them, identified as 18-year-old student Danish Manzoor Lone succumbed to injuries while being rushed to District Hospital Baramulla for medical treatment. Four of the injured were treated at Baramulla and two more referred to Srinagar. One of them, namely Ashfaq, was described as ‘very critical’.

SP Sopore Harmit Singh told STATE TIMES that one youth died and four others sustained injuries in the shootout. Army maintained in their reports that the ROP fired in the air when a crowd of the miscreants resorted to intense stone pelting on the soldiers. Police have filed FIR. Residents said that a minor clash had occurred earlier near Ladoora between some youths and Army as there was widespread anger over closedown of Fruit Mandi at Sopore where troops did not allow the traders to operate their businesses during relaxation in shutdown in the morning. Thereafter, troops walked into the village and fired indiscriminately. Four persons sustained injuries. Meanwhile, a procession emerged out of Nadihal village.

“Many people in the procession entered Ladoora when they heard that Army had opened fire to terrorise the population. Some people pelted stones which did not hit the troops. But the troops opened fire, killing Danish Lone on the spot and causing grievous injuries to two more youths”, said a resident. Official reports said that over 8,000 people attended Danish Mir’s funeral with a pro-Pakistan and anti-Indian demonstration.

Seventy-one persons, including three Police personnel, have died and thousands have sustained injuries in the 8-week-long turbulence triggered by death of the Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.

Sources said that a crowd of around 1500 people attacked a CRPF camp guarding the newly established colony for migrant employees at Nutnusa on Sopore-Kupwara Road. CRPF opened fire and repulsed the attack. However, four hutments and a guardroom and three vehicles, possibly of the local residents, were damaged in the clash. CRPF later chased the unruly crowds back into the village and pitched battles continued for about two hours. Several people sustained injuries. Residents alleged that many of them were roughed up and their houses were ransacked.

Sources said that all the migrant families have deserted the CRPF-guarded colony and gone back to Jammu and other places after the current turbulence started on July 8.

Elsewhere, according to informed sources, around a hundred clashes took place between the protesters and Police/security forces across the Valley including many in the capital city. Some peaceful demonstrations were also reported from South Kashmir. Reports said that participants waved Pakistani flags and shouted pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans in all the peaceful and violent demonstrations.

Official sources said that 55 injured persons were admitted to SMHS and around 50 were treated at other hospitals in the Valley. In all, around 200 persons are estimated to have sustained injuries in over 100 clashes at different places. Curfew was not in force anywhere in the Valley but the separatists-sponsored shutdown continued on 54th day.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Over 100 clashes with Police across Valley on 53rd day of turbulence

·        Hurriyat warns there would be no amnesty for drivers defying its call; 0ver 100 vehicles damaged in enforcement of shutdown

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Aug 30: Even as vigilantes checked identity cards and roughed up many people driving their vehicles in violation of the separatists’ shutdown call on Tuesday, more than a hundred clashes took place between the protesters and Police across Kashmir valley on 53rd day of the turbulence, triggered by the Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s death in an encounter on July 8.

For the first time after July 8, shops opened in the capital city’s main business hub of Lalchowk when the day’s shutdown ended for 12 hours of the night at 6.00 pm. Reports said that shops also opened for the first time in over seven weeks at district headquarters of Anantnag in South Kashmir around the same time. Reports said that some shops opened in the day in violation of the shutdown call at some places in the uptown Srinagar and some other major townships. Skeletal traffic operated in pars of Srinagar and some other districts on the second consecutive day.

However, most of the shops across Kashmir valley were closed and only a small number of the private and commercial vehicles was spotted in operation. Curfew was in force only in downtown Srinagar Police Station areas of Nowhatta and M.R. Gunj.

A Zonal Police Headquarters statement said that curfew had been lifted from whole of the Kashmir valley except two Police Stations of Nowhatta and M R Gunj in Srinagar. “Greater movement of private, passenger vehicular traffic and people was observed in major areas of the Valley including Srinagar city today,” the statement said. It said barring few minor stone pelting incidents, the overall situation remained peaceful and under control throughout the Valley till evening.

“The stone pelting incidents were reported from Batamaloo and Bag-e-Mehtab in Srinagar, Chankipora and Main Chowk, Sopore, Mehmoodabad in Dooru and Kaloosa in Bandipora where miscreants in their attempts to disturb the situation pelted stones on police and security force deployments,” the statement said.

However, reports available with STATE TIMES said that in follow up to some minor clashes in the day, around 100 clashes took place between the unruly crowds and the Police and CRPF. Over 30 protesters and Police and paramilitary personnel are estimated injured. Most of the clashes took place in the evening at the timing of the withdrawal of the Police and CRPF deployments. While around 50 clashes took place in Srinagar, around 50 occurred in other nine districts.

In addition to the violent clashes, at least six peaceful processions were also reported from Palhalan, Wathoo and other places. Reports said that in all the peaceful and violent demonstrations, participants waved Pakistan flags and shouted pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans.

The largest separatist gatherings of the day were reported in Qazigund and Wathoo where 2500 and 2000 people respectively participated in the demonstrations. Police and paramilitary forces initially put up some resistance and used tearsmoke to disperse the crowds and block their way. However, when the number of the participants crossed 1500, Police and CRPF withdrew from the area.

In Srinagar, the most violent clash was reported from Batmaloo where residents alleged that CRPF and Police barged into premises, ransacked houses and roughed up the inmates. A photojournalist’s family was among the complainants.

Officials said that a large number of the vehicles was damaged and drivers were beaten up for violation of the separatists’ shutdown call. They said that two oil tanker drivers were attacked at Qoil Pulwama by unruly crowds. They managed to drive away to a petrol pump. After the Police swung into action, the oil tankers were escorted to their destination inside Awantipore base of Indian Air Force.

About a dozen load carrier drivers complained that they were beaten up and their vehicles damaged with stones and batons by unruly youths. They said that they were carrying LPG cylinders for home delivery in certain areas.

A Hurriyat (Geelani) spokesman said in a statement that the Government was trying to create a false impression of normalcy by roping in local drivers.  “…employees, traders, transporters and factories are united in their resolve. But India by its nefarious designs and wicked conspiracies try their best to derail it through their paid local agents. They pay Sumo and auto drivers hefty sums to run their vehicles empty. They encourage their famous departmental stores to run their business under the police cover in civvies. Some SRTC buses are plying on roads and carry the passengers free”, he said.

Hurriyat's warning

“Hurriyat has cautioned these people that we have an eye on these issues and we not only know these faces but also recognize them as well. But still we strongly appeal to their collective conscious that those thriving on the behest of Delhi may pay you hefty sums, they may also reward you for becoming Mir Jaffars and Mir Sadiqs. But time will come when you can’t bear the burden of taking the side of killers and beasts and you will surely succumb to your own conscience (sic.)”, he added.

The statement warned that there would be no amnesty for the people defying Hurriyat’s shutdown call: “Hurriyat further said that time is always in motion and when your bad time comes there will be no scope for mafinamas (apologies) and your ugly faces can hardly be forgotten (sic.)”.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Curfew lifted after 51 days but separatists enforce shutdown with stone pelting

Dy SP among hundreds who were beaten up for violation of Hurriyat call and whose vehicles were damaged on streets; Over 100 clashes reported across Valley

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR,  Aug 29: Authorities on Monday lifted curfew, first time after July 8th encounter in which militant Burhan Wani had got killed in Kokernag area, from entire Kashmir valley with exception of two Police Stations in downtown Srinagar and one in Pulwama, but the separatists were quick to enforce their call for shutdown with stone pelting at different places. Around 200 people were reportedly injured in over 100 clashes between the separatist demonstrators and the Police.

Officials said that curfew remained in force only in the jurisdiction of Nowhatta and M.R. Gunj Police Stations in downtown Srinagar and Pulwama in South Kashmir. Government’s curfew and the separatists’ shutdown have run parallel to each other since the day three militants, including Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, were killed on July 8. Seventy people, including three Police personnel, have got killed and thousands injured in the 52-day-long turbulence.

Reports said that most of the shops remained closed as usual. However, several shops were found open in different markets. Even in Batmaloo area of Srinagar hundreds of street vendors resumed business after 51 days even as Hurriyat had called for continued shutdown. Private vehicles were seen plying on different roads including in the capital city.

However, around 11.00 a.m. groups of youths appeared at different places and they enforced shutdown while pelting stones on vehicles and shops and roughing up and snubbing many of those who had come out in defiance of the separatists’ call. According to official sources, hundreds of people were roughed up and their vehicles were extensively damaged, mostly after withdrawal of Police and paramilitary deployment at 6.30 p.m. Even the pharmacies, which have been exempted, closed down in the evening.

Sources said that Deputy SP CID Headquarters Mubashir Ahmad was among the people who were stopped by unruly groups of youths near Gandhi Memorial College in Fatehkadal area of Srinagar in the afternoon. Masked youths smashed the windscreen of his private car. The Police officer in civvies got down and attempted to remove the mask from a youth’s face. Others of the group attacked him and he was mercilessly beaten up. He sustained injuries and his arm got fractured.

Later, the Dy SP, who was not luckily recognised, was evacuated to Police Hospital where he was given medical treatment. Officials said that he was on way from his home to office when he was stopped and questioned for defying the separatists’ shutdown call.

In near-total breakdown of Police and administrative machinery all over the Valley for over 50 days, most of the Police officials have been travelling with fake civil or official identity cards. Fearing mob attacks, Police and security forces’ movement has been drastically restricted.

Reports said that around 200 protesters and Police and paramilitary personnel sustained injuries in over 100 clashes across Valley. While as around 50 clashes took place in the capital city, another 50 clashes were reported from remaining nine districts. Most of the people were reportedly injured in Budgam and Bandipore district. In Sumbal area, residents complained that Police and CRPF barged into their houses, roughed up inmates and damaged doors and windows.

Meanwhile, according to a statement issued by the Zonal Police Headquarters Kashmir, following improvement in situation, curfew was lifted from all parts of Kashmir valley this morning except Pulwama town and the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Police station M R Gunj and Police Station Nowhatta.

 The statement said that minor incidents of stone pelting were reported from Srinagar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Sopore, Kupwara and Bandipora. “These incidents were reported from Guzarbal, Babademb, Saidpora, Batamaloo, Chanapora in Srinagar, Sangam in Anantnag, Gandwani, Shol Batango in Kulgam, Nadihal Chowk in Sopore, Brambari, Rekhipora in Kupwara and Kaloosa in Bandipora,” the statement said adding that some miscreants  pelted stones on police and security force deployments in these areas.

“Except for these incidents, overall situation remained peaceful and under control throughout the Kashmir valley till filling of this report. Greater movement of traffic and people was observed across the valley including the city Srinagar,” it said.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hurriyat rejects PDP’s appeal, says Mehbooba has ‘turned this heavenly land into hell’

Geelani’s group makes BJP’s position more awkward as PDP spokesman had beseeched him to treat Mehbooba as his daughter and lend her ‘a chance’ to deliver as CM

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Aug 28: Making the ruling coalition partner BJP’s position further awkward, Hurriyat Conference’s pro-Pakistan faction headed by hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani has outrightly rejected PDP’s appeal seeking “a chance” for Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to deliver.

In a controversial statement, that had been understandably approved by the PDP President and Chief Minister, PDP spokesperson Dr Mehboob Beg had on Saturday beseeched Geelani to treat Ms Mufti as his daughter and give him a chance to bring about “change” in Jammu and Kashmir. “Geelani Sahab must think of Mehbooba Mufti as his daughter, who also happens to be the first Kashmiri Muslim woman to lead our state”, Dr Beg had said in his statement.

Significantly Dr Beg had assured Geelani that the head of the BJP-PDP government Mehbooba Mufti would step down if she failed to deliver. “She is not the conventional politician that we deal with most of the times. In case she does not bring about a change, she will be the first to own up and make way”, Dr Beg had said in the statement that has made BJP’s position awkward in the country.

Hurriyat on Sunday retorted tersely, rejecting PDP’s appeal as Mehbooba’s “emotional blackmail”.

“All Parties Hurriyat Conference while reacting to the PDP’s appeal to Geelani Sahab to treat Mehbooba Mufti as his daughter and help her to restore peace, has said that we have three prong relations with Ms. Mehbooba i.e. human, national and religious, but she has utterly failed to uphold any of these. Humanity teaches us to respect and honour the human beings irrespective of their caste, creed or culture, but she by her barbaric armed forces and uncontrolled police has turned this heavenly land into the hell”, the Hurriyat (G) spokesman said in a statement while responding to Dr Beg.

“Here every house is mourning the demise of their loved ones, thereby tarnishing the very fabric of this honourable and pious relation. Regarding the national and milli (religious) relations, Hurriyat said that it demands from her at least to be on the part of her people and join their just struggle but for the petty power and to please her masters she has been competing in killing and maiming her own people”, said the Hurriyat statement.

It added: “Commenting about the religious connections with her, Hurriyat said that 8 CRPF persons’ killing brought shame on her Muslim identity, but daily ruthless killings of our youth fail to appeal her conscious to feel sorry for being Indian collaborator. Hurriyat said that Geelani Sahab is the leader of this nation and he treats every woman as his daughters, but how is this “daughter” who feels happy to confine her fatherly figure in his house for years together but doesn’t hesitate to emotionally blackmail him to call for his help whenever her position is threatened”.

“Hurriyat said that as a ‘father’, he (Mr Geelani) advised her not to ruin her hereafter for the comfort and luxury of those who kill and destroy us. Hurriyat further questioned her that for how long you will suppress your conscience and continue to support our killer. Time will come when your inner will curse you for being so but time may not be on your side (sic.)”, the statement issued on behalf of Geelani said



10 Secretariat employees injured as Tempo Traveller attacked at Bijbehara

State Times News


SRINAGAR, Aug 28: Ten Durbar Move employees travelling on a Tempo Traveller from Jammu to Srinagar sustained injuries when their vehicle was attacked by a group of stone pelting youths at Bijbehara on Sunday.

Informed sources told STATE TIMES that earlier in the evening, groups of stone pelters attacked a cavalcade of government and private vehicles carrying back NET candidates to Anantnag after conclusion of their examination in Srinagar. Some of the targeted vehicles were damaged though it was not immediately clear if any of the students had got injured in the attacks at Sangam and Bijbehara.

Sources said that the Srinagar-bound vehicle of the Secretariat employees, including some from General Administration Department, suffered damage and 10 employees sustained injuries. One of them was hit in his head.

The injured employees were given medical treatment at Sub District Hospital Bijbehara. DC Anantnag Dr Syed Abid Rashid visited the hospital, enquired about their condition and arranged for their safe transit to their ultimate destination of Srinagar.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Geelani asks GOC 15 Corps to vacate Kashmir; cop gunned down near IAF base

Curfew in Srinagar, Pampore, Pulwama, Anantnag; shutdown in entire Valley as death toll reaches 70 on 50th day of turbulence

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Aug 27: Inspite of his pressing domestic commitment---marriage ceremony of a grandson and three granddaughters, which went on modestly---separatist hardliner and Chairman of a faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Saturday asked General Officer Commanding 15 Corps Lt Gen Satish Dua to vacate Kashmir, even as suspected militants gunned down a constable of Pulwama District Police close to the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Awantipore area of South Kashmir.

According to the shutdown calendar issued on Wednesday, Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had the programme of leading a mass march to Badami Bagh cantonment on Saturday to deliver a letter to the Corps Commander---asking him and Army to “vacate” Kashmir. Authorities had accordingly enforced strict curfew in the summer capital and put up concertina wire barriers on roads at different places and blocked all the streets leading toward Batwara.

As exclusively reported in this newspaper, Mirwaiz had been arrested and lodged in a hut, designated as sub jail, at Cheshma Shahi, close to Raj Bhawan on Friday night. JKLF Chairman Malik has been in a jail for the last several weeks. As Geelani emerged out of his Hyderpora residence with a letter addressed to the Corps Commander in his hand, he was taken into custody by Budgam Police and whisked away for a day’s detention to Humhama Police Post. Officials said he was later let off.

While addressing a gathering of his followers at Hyderpora before boarding a Police vehicle, Geelani said that India had no legal right to retain occupation of Jammu and Kashmir as, according to him, it was “a disputed territory and an unfinished agenda of the UN Security Council”. He said that the Kashmiris were treating the Indian people, including the armed forces personnel, as their brothers, despite being “victims of untold atrocities”. He claimed that the Kashmiris’ fight was only with the Government of India.

“In 2009 we started the campaign of demilitarization “Fuji Inkhilah” and in 2010 we intensified this campaign by a common and famous slogan “Go India Go Back”. Massarat Aalam is still languishing in jail for actively participating and galvanizing this campaign. Today also very politely and humbly we request these armed forces that you have failed to win our hearts for the last 70 long years and you will never be able to do so in future”, Geelani said.

Geelani added that right to self-determination had been promised by none other than the first Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru not only in Indian Parliament in 1952, but in Kashmir’s historical Lal Chowk in front of lakhs of people. “He at that time said that this is a commitment not only with Kashmiris but to the whole world that we will allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide their future on their own as we don’t believe in forced marriages”, he added.


Earlier, unidentified militants shot dead selection grade Constable Khursheed Ahmad Ganai of Qoil, Pulwama, when he had moved out in his Santro reportedly to fetch milk for his family. He was gunned down in close vicinity of IAF’s Awantipore base which had been targeted by a crowd of separatists last fortnight.

In South Kashmir’s Sangam area, locals retrieved the body of a 24-year-old youth, Shahnawaz Khan s/o Iqbal Khan of Dadoo Marhama, Bijbehara. They claimed that he drowned in Jhelum and died after being chased in a crowd by Police and CRPF on Friday afternoon. According to them, three youths had jumped in the river. However, two of them managed to swim across to the other bank. Police spokesman did not issue any statement in reaction to the residents’ allegation that Ganai had been chased and forced to drown.

Reports said that a large number of people attended Gannai’s funeral prayers, back to back four times, amid pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans. With this, death toll in the 50-day-long turbulence, triggered by militant Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter on July 8, has reached 70. It includes three Police personnel.

While as curfew remained in force in Srinagar, Pulwama, Pampore and Anantnag towns, separatists-sponsored shutdown continued on the 50th consecutive day in entire Kashmir valley. Traffic was off the road and all shops and private offices closed. Some government offices were open but attendance was skeletal.

Clashes between the separatist crowds and Police/CRPF occurred at over 20 places across Valley. Reports of routine clashes poured in from Papchhan, Potshai, Nikus, Aripal, Nowgam Chowk, Wanbal, Imam Sahab, Bugam (Kulgam) and some other places. Over 50 people were estimated to be injured. Reports said that peaceful demonstrations were also held at more than six places.

The largest gathering on Saturday was reported from Bugam where around 10,000 people waved Pakistani flags, shouted pro-Pakistan, pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans. Separatist leader Mohammad Yusuf Falahi addressed the gathering. Another thick crowd held up similar demonstration at a school building at Khanpora Yaripora in Kulgam. Reports said that a gathering of around 3,000 people held a similar demonstration in Rajpora area of Pulwama district.

Official sources said that 12 persons sustained injuries when some people clashed with Police in Bugam. Two of them with pellet injuries were rushed to Srinagar and admitted at SMHS Hospital. Around a dozen protesters were reportedly injured in similar clash in Hanjivera Pattan.

Zonal Police Headquarters, Kashmir, said in a statement said that barring five incidents of stone pelting in Anantnag, Shopian and Bandipora, the overall situation remained peaceful and under control across Kashmir valley. “The stone pelting incidents were reported from Barbugh, Hillow, Kadgam in Shopian, Sangam in Anantnag and Watpora, Potshai in Bandipora”, a Police spokesman said.